A lot of emerging designers are very creative but have no clue about sales. They work really hard on their brand and their product but they are so intimidated by the sales process that they ignore it till the last minute. Then they realize “oh shoot, I have to sell this, what do I do now.” Unfortunately waiting till the end of putting together your line and then thinking about sales will most assuredly will hurt your fashion business. You need to be thinking about sales from the beginning to ensure that you actually have a viable business. These are the things you need to know.
- Who your customer is. How can you even start designing if you don’t know who you are selling to.
- Where your customer shops. In order to develop a solid sales plan you have to know where you are selling your product. You must ascertain what kind of stores you need to be in. Or are you going to sell on line or are you going to do both.
- Have a sales plan. Knowing who you are selling and how you are selling them is a strategic step in building your fashion business. Will you hire sales reps? How many? Will you have your own showroom? Are you going to do trade shows? These are questions you need to answer in order to develop a solid sales strategy.
- Are you going to sell the line yourself? If that is the case learn how to be the best salesperson possible. Sales takes a lot of skill to be successful. It is more than doing a fashion show or showing up at a trade show. So learn how to do it. I know some designers who are great salespeople and were very successful in building their brand.
- Do you need to hire someone to sell for you? If you aren’t going to do the sales yourself you have to hire someone. Whether they are an in house employee or a rep you need to have dedicated sales people.
A business without sales is a hobby. So if you want to have a viable business with solid profits learn everything there is to know about the selling process and have a plan to execute it.